ROCKLAND — The 17th year of statewide competition for the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Design Contest is underway.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has invited students in grades K-12 to create designs featuring ducks, swans, or geese in their natural habitats. Designs are judged in four age categories, with awards for first, second, and third places and honorable mentions. Entries must be postmarked by March 15, 2011.
The Maine Best of Show entry will compete with contest winners from other states in a national competition. The first place national winning design is used to create the Federal Junior Duck Stamp. Proceeds from the sale of Junior Duck Stamps (which cost $5 each) support conservation education by providing awards and scholarships for students, teachers, and schools.
The 2010 Best of Show for Maine was a Harlequin Duck by Matthew Maiello of Kittery Point, Maine.
Modeled after the Service’s annual Federal Duck Stamp competition, the Junior Duck Stamp contest is part of an educational curriculum that teaches students about waterfowl, the importance of wetlands, and conservation in general. Proceeds from the sale of Federal Duck Stamps protect wetlands by adding them to the National Wildlife Refuge System.
Contest rules and entry forms are available for download at www.fws.gov/juniorduck/. Children who are home schooled are also eligible. A display of last year’s winning artwork is available to organizations that would like to promote the contest.
For more information on the contest and the display, call Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge at (207) 594-0600 extension 3. Businesses or organizations that would like to sponsor this program are also encouraged to call number.